Gluten, what’s all the fuss? That question had been on my mind for a while. I knew many people suffered from Celiac or gluten sensitivities, but what about people not suffering with these issues? Does gluten have an impact on our health and why? You can read more about gluten here: https://draxe.com/whats-the-deal-with-gluten/
Apparently, gluten slows down the absorption of valuable nutrients in the gut and also increases gut permeability. When gut permeability is increased, meaning particles can more easily move in and out of the intestine, undigested food particles and bad bacteria can get out. The body then attacks these “foreign invaders”, leading to inflammation, pain, and the overtaxing of the immune system. Too much gut permeability leads to “leaky gut.” You can read more about leaky gut here: https://draxe.com/4-steps-to-heal-leaky-gut-and-autoimmune-disease/
There are many gluten-free flours that I make at home. With my Ninja blender, it is easy to make quinoa flour, gluten-free oatmeal flour, any kind of nut flour, buckwheat flour, garbanzo bean flour, etc. I just choose the ingredient and put it in the blender. I let it blend until the granules get small enough. I could buy flours at the store, but I like to know what is going into the flour and how fresh the ingredients are. Lately, I have been sticking with almond flour and cashew flour because of my struggles with Candida. If I have to store any flours, I put them in the freezer. There is one type of flour I consistently buy and that is organic coconut flour. I have not tried making that yet. I also like to sift my nut flours right before they go into the recipe to help create less dense baking products.
While we are on the subject of nut flours, did you know you can make your own nut butters? I use raw cashews for cashew butter, but raw sunflower seeds make very bitter sunflower butter. I tend to use roasted sunflower seeds and look for ones that do not have GMO oils added to them. I make nut butters by grinding the nuts as I would in order to make flour, but letting them stay in the blender longer. Once I see some oils forming at the bottom of the blender, I start to add some organic olive oil 1 TBL at a time. You want to add this slowly so you don’t end up with a watery nut butter. Add as much as necessary for the desired consistency. Let it grind for a couple of minutes in between adding additional oil so you can assess whether more is needed. I also add a little Himalayan pink salt to taste. Homemade butters are much tastier than store- bought butters. I store all nut butters in the refrigerator to avoid mold. Mold is not always detectable by the naked eye. I store all nuts in the freezer as well for the same reason. Mold is especially harmful to the Candida sufferer.
Another nut product that is rewarding to make is almond milk. I never realized how much other ingredients manufacturers put in almond milk, cashew milk, and coconut milk. In fact, the only coconut milk I found with just organic coconut milk, and water was at Trader Joe’s. It comes in a can. The full-fat version is the best for health. It can be a little chunky from the fat, so mixing it or blending it is best.
Almond milk recipe:
1 part almond
2 parts water
Pure vanilla extract (optional)
- Soak almonds for at least 8 hours. (Almonds will get plump. You can replace the water after 4 hours by straining and rinsing almonds.)
- Strain and rinse almonds one final time.
- Put almonds in a blender with 2 parts of fresh water.
- Blend for a couple of minutes until the almonds are ground into small particles.
- Pour a little at a time into cheese cloth and squeeze into a storage container. The milk will squeeze out.
- Put the ground almond bits that are in the cheesecloth onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. These can either be baked slowly at 250 or laid out in a glass container to air dry. This can be used later for almond flour. Store in the freezer after it dries. If it clumps up, you can always put it in the blender for a minute to grind before using.
- Once you are done squeezing all the milk out, add vanilla if you would like and shake.
- Almond milk will last about a week, so keep that in mind when you decide how much to make.